A rugged ascent of Mont Blanc or any stiff peak…

France and cream do not go together like a horse and carriage. The country whose cuisine is famed for its excesses of butter and cream does not have much of the latter, or at least “not as we know it, Jim”. I’ve lived happily with the knowledge of this creamy dearth for quite a long time and with no ill effects, in fact the reverse may well be true, but the creation of a Mont Blanc dessert demands whipped cream. Aside from creme fraiche, all other French products purporting to be cream seem to be packaged in small tetrapacks, and have a shelf life of several decades. The contents of a selection of these cardboard time capsules, and I, have just done battle. Sturm und Drang had nothing on this confrontation: by the end of the confrontation I was so dranged out that I had to have a lie down. On the positive side, I have some whipped cream, although there were times when those words were but a dream. God knows what frightening proportions of shoulder and arm must have been possessed by French housewives before the introduction of electricity. Maybe the truth lies in the fact that there was real cream to be had before the electric age. Oh for the good old days when dentists had hand drills.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Cream, creme fraiche, desserts, Food and Photography, France, meringues, Mont Blanc, photography course, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to A rugged ascent of Mont Blanc or any stiff peak…

  1. Whoa! That is spectacular! Nice glass too.

  2. We have exactly the same issues here with cream – it´s so weird isn´t it? And when you do manage to get the damn stuff whipped, it loses its oomph very quickly! Lovely photo of my dad´s favourite dessert 🙂

  3. spree says:

    How lovely is that! Afraid I’ve never heard of this dessert before, but my, I’d like to get to know it!

  4. peasepudding says:

    I would never have thought it hard to get fresh cream in France. I’m off to our local farmer this morning to pick up non pasturised milk and cream you can stand a spoon up in! Making Camembert cheese today (hopefully) and the cream is just for the putting extra calories on. :0)

  5. Hmm…I may consider facing a dentist’s hand drill for a taste of that dessert!

  6. We were discussing the lack of cream and milk the other day, the stuff that isn’t UHT or as you say comes in a tetrapack. Certainly frustrating and rather odd!

  7. Well, your Herculean efforts did at last clearly produce a prodigious and magnificent mountain!

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    Now that is one fantastic looking dessert, Roger, your creamy foibles notwithstanding. As you said, though, I’d never have guessed you would have any such problems in France, of all places. Makes me wonder of the state of cheese in Switzerland.

  9. Mary Cadogan says:

    try fresh creme entiere from the chiller cabinet next time Rog, it whips pretty well, though you need to do it in a tall measuring jug to avoid getting scattergunned with cream.

  10. Japanese “Mont Blanc”s (and they are very popular) come in yellow most of the time…

  11. Karen says:

    Such a light and creamy dessert even though you had trouble getting real cream. If someone else told me it was hard getting cream in France, I probably wouldn’t believe them. France, with some of the best food in the world…who knew. England has such lovely cream.

  12. This looks well worth the effort! I’d almost forgotten about whipping cream, I’ve just learnt to live with creme fraiche. And I saw your reply about white wine vinegar to Chica Andaluza – that’s one thing I really don’t understand. I can’t find it anywhere here and brought back some precious supplies from Catalunya last time I went there. I’m just off to the kitchen to supervise the slow roasting of a wild boar leg now…if successful it will be on my blog tomorrow!

  13. spree says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award Roger. Thanks for the happy time spent following you.

  14. Wow – so glad you didn’t stick to that going away thing you wrote about quite some time ago. I need a good hour to sit and read your last several posts. You are engaging to say the least! Happy New Year! (p.s. your photos are delightful too!)

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